Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 27–40 | Cite as

Issues in Caring for Afghan American Elders: Insights from Literature and a Focus Group

  • Nancy Morioka-Douglas
  • Teresa Sacks
  • Gwen Yeo


Objectives: To increase the information available for clinicians and educators to care for, and educate others to care for, elders from Afghan backgrounds more effectively. Design: Focus group methodology. Setting: Community senior center in Fremont, CA, United States. Participants: Nine leaders of an Afghan elders group. Measurements: Content analysis of translated proceedings of focus group. Results: The two most important themes were: 1) Participants identified their health status and effective treatments with their faith in, and practice of, Islam. 2) They also emphasized the importance of care given by same-sex providers. Conclusion: Clinicians providing care for older Afghan refugees need to be aware of the importance of respecting the practices of Islam, especially using same sex providers. Allowing for Muslim practices in the hospital is also important, such as washing before daily prayers, not serving pork products (e.g. gelatin), and having the bed face Mecca (Southeast) for prayers, especially for a dying patient.

Afghan competency culture elders healthcare Islam 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nancy Morioka-Douglas
    • 1
  • Teresa Sacks
    • 2
  • Gwen Yeo
    • 3
  1. 1.Stanford Geriatric Education CenterStanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Sanford Center for AgingUniversity of NevadaRenoUSA
  3. 3.Stanford Geriatric Education CenterStanford University School of MedicineStanfordUSA

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